September, 2018

1.8m killer airbags still in Aussie cars

Takata airbags have the potential to explode and send metal shrapnel and other material into the cabin of a vehicle.Motorists are being warned not to be complacent about getting deadly Takata airbags replaced after a review found 1.8 million of the faulty devices are still fitted to Australian cars despite a massive recall.
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says while 1.1 million faulty Takata airbags have been replaced in about 930,000 vehicles since the recall began in early 2017, another 1.8 million remain in place.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard is warning motorists to get the faulty airbags replaced as they can degrade over time and become lethal by misdeploying and firing metal shards at anyone in the car.

“Don’t ignore or delay responding to a letter or call from your car’s manufacturer asking you to have your airbag replaced,” she said in a statement on Thursday.

Australian vehicle owners are being encouraged to check automotive industry-backed site.

Car makers around the world issued a voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with Takata airbags in early 2017 after they were linked to at least 23 deaths and more than 230 serious injuries.

The federal government ordered its own national recall in February this year following a recommendation from the ACCC after the voluntary recall was deemed ineffective.

The ACCC estimates that the most dangerous type of airbags, known as “alpha” airbags, were fitted to about 115,000 cars and that 19,500 of those are still potentially on the roads.

Ms Rickard said the alpha airbags need to be replaced urgently, and that anyone with a car fitted with the device should not drive them until they’ve been fixed.

“Make no mistake, these airbags can kill and our advice is for consumers to check our website to see if there car is affected by this recall. If your car contains an alpha airbag, it should not be driven,” she said.

Based on data provided by car manufacturers to the ACCC, NSW and Victoria have the most cars with faulty airbags that still need to be replaced.

The recall affects a variety of car models including those made by Toyota, Subaru, Honda and Nissan.

Motorists can find out if their airbags need replacing by logging on to www.ismyairbagsafe南京夜网.au or texting 0487AIRBAG.


* NSW 500,606, plus 5,174 alpha models

* Victoria 448,357 plus 4,532 alpha

* Queensland 326,168 plus 2,505 alpha

* Western Australia 162,494 plus 1,156 alpha

* South Australia 103,390 plus 617 alpha

* Tasmania 39, 196 plus 244 alpha

* ACT 30,103 plus 241 alpha

* Northern Territory 11,452 plus 117 alpha

(Source: ACCC)


Tuned in to challenge: Deborah Wright switches from TV to radio

Career move: “2NUR faces the same challenges and transformational changes that other media and broadcasters face, ” says Deborah Wright.
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Where were you raised and what influenced your career?

I was born and raised in Newcastle and had three siblings all born in Sydney, so I’m the only one in the family who can claim true ‘Novocastrian’ status and I’m very proud to do so. My grandfather was a concert pianist, Australian film industry pioneer and a creative thinker however it was his role as a journalist and contributor to the local paper that interested me as a child. He was an amazing individual, extremely generous with his time letting me loose in his office to use his typewriter, notebooks and pencils which started my interest in media and probably more so a lifelong curiosity in people.

What did you study?

Initially I studied the Social Sciences and then some years later when I was forging my management career at NBN Television I completed a Masters of Business Administration. I was keen to support my professional development and career aspirations for a senior executive role in media and decided an MBA would both support those professional objectives and would also be stimulating and personally fulfilling along the way. NBN was very supportive of my studies, both financially and with time off to attend Uni and exams. My MBA coincided with two major milestones in my life – the aggregation of regional television, affectionately known as ‘aggravation’ (NBN’s market expanded from Newcastle to Northern NSW) which saw my role expand commensurately. The other milestone was the most fulfilling personal project of my life called ‘Nicholas’ – our one and only beautiful son.

Your first job in media?

A sales executive with the NBN Television-owned newspaper The Newcastle Star. Four days after starting I was promoted to features manager, not through any sheer brilliance but more from an opportunity unexpectedly arising.Somehow I knew from my first day in media that I was destined to make it a lifetime career. Shortly after an opportunity arose at NBN Television which lead to 30 wonderful years and the most remarkable career with the last 10 years as CEO.

Did you covet an executive role?

Yes;I made it clear of my aspirations, that I was prepared to work hard, learn the broadcasting business and make sacrifices, not thinking at the time that 20 years later I’d be CEO,but yes, Idid have my dreams. NBN was an icon in regional media during those days and I will always feel very privileged to have led it and worked with a great team.

In a blokeyfield, was it hard to excel as a female?

Broadcasting and media, whether you’re female or male,is a tough business but if you have passion and a single-minded focus on your goals it pays off in spades. Also, having a guardian ‘mentor’ to support you and give feedback along the way is important and I was lucky to have mentors.

Deborah Wright

In 2016 you were Director of Regional Strategy for Nine Entertainment Co. The outcome?

Another great opportunity to lead in shaping the regional strategy for Nine Entertainment Co when it was in the midst of transformational change and the much awaited changes to media laws had stalled. The strategy led to the landmark signing of a new regional television agreement between Nine Entertainment Co and Southern Cross Austereo, who previously had been the Ten affiliate. I then had a lead role transitioning Nine Entertainment Co and NBN to its new regional affiliate partner with very successful commercial and operational outcomes.

The biggest challenges in the TV and media arena?

The pace of change and remaining relevant. The media industry has undergone transformational change over the past decade, particularly from a consumer and technology perspective. Keeping pace with creating and delivering compelling content across legacy and new technology platforms places huge demands on the traditional business model. Those broadcasters who have scale and can respond to the changes and prioritise their investment in building digital assets, generate compelling new content and deliver it to consumers anywhere, anytime on any device are ahead of the pack.

Why did you take on the role of CEO of 2NURFM, the University of Newcastle’s community radio station?

As a member of Council for 11 years and Chair of the People and Culture Committee, a member of the Strategic Development Committee and Chair of 2NURFM I have a deep understanding of the University. Despite it being unexpected, the timing was right and it meant I could return to the region that I love, and work in a leadership role in an industry that I’m passionate about. My role aside from the day to day management of the radio station is to develop the strategic plan and lead the stronger alignment between the University, 2NURFM and community. 2NUR faces the same challenges and transformational changes that other media and broadcasters face, driven in large by advances in technology and massive digital disruption impacting on current and future business models. 2NUR will need to adapt to these changes and to do so requires a clear long term strategic plan to ensure it has a sustainable business model.


Fatal head-on crash on M1 Pacific Motorway at Warnervale

An elderly man has died in a head-oncrash on the M1 at Warnervale.
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About 4.30am Thursday emergency services were called to the south bound lanes of the M1, near the Sparks Road off ramp, after reports that two vehicles had collided.

It is believed that a northbound sedan and a southbound utility collided.

As a result of the collision the driver of the sedan, a 72-year-old man died at the scene.

The 26-year-old male occupant of the utility was treated at the scene byparamedics and conveyed to Gosford Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and underwent mandatory blood and urine testing.

Police from Tuggerah Lakes Police District attended and established a crime scene.

Both vehicles have been removed for further mechanical examination.

Police will prepare a report for the Coroner, outlining the full circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

The road was closed for several hours whilst investigators examined the crash scene eventually reopening fully about 8am.


The M1 Pacific Motorway was closed for several hours atWarnervale after a fatal two-car crash.

Emergency services were called tothescene nearSparks Roadabout 4.30am.

According to early police reports two cars collided in the southbound lane. One man was killed at the scene, while two other people were treated by paramedics.

Emergency services, including the police crash investigation unit, and traffic crews are expected to remain on scene for some time.

All southbound lanes of the M1 have reopened and diversions have been lifted, however motorists are continuing to experience significant southbound delays on the motorway also via the diversion routes and major arterials across parts of the Central Coast.

Commuters are advised to continue to allow plenty of additional travel time.

Buses travelling through Lake Haven and Warnervale are experiencing delays of up to 45 minutes.

The crash comes days after two people died in a crash just north of the Mooney Mooney Bridge.

Two men who were travelling in a Ford utility died in the crash. The men, believed to have been aged 19 and 52, have not yet been formally identified.

A 75-year-old woman who was driving a Kia Rio sedan was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital where she remains in a stable condition.

The remaining four drivers and passengers – a 62-year-old woman, a 44-year-old woman, and two women aged 36 and 34 who were travelling together – were taken to Gosford Hospital for further treatment.

A truck driver has been charged over the the crash.

Photo: RFS Central Coast.

For the latest traffic information, visitwww.livetraffic南京夜网


Slipper’s future with rugby’s Reds “murky”

James Slipper is unsure where he will play next year following his return from a drugs ban.Wallabies prop James Slipper says his status with the Queensland Reds is murky and it will be a tough situation for him whether he stays or leaves his home state after serving a drug related ban.
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Slipper recently finished a two month suspension imposed by Rugby Australia for violations of their illicit drugs policy, with him twice testing positive for cocaine earlier this year.

He will return to action on Friday when he plays for a Super Selection side against the Wallabies in Sydney and he will also play in the upcoming NRC.

Slipper’s playing destination for 2019 is unclear.

He is contracted to Queensland for the next two seasons, but Reds coach Brad Thorn hasn’t given any indication the 86 Test prop is part of his plans for 2019.

“I spoke to Brad a week after it all went down and it was clear from that conversation that the future could be murky,,” Slipper said.

The 29-year-old frontrower said he would prefer not to follow the same path as Wallaby backs Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt, who weren’t required by Thorn this year.

Both were contracted to the Reds, but opted to play club rugby in Queensland rather than seek oppotunities elsewhere after falling out of favour with Thorn.

“It will be tough to go back (to the Reds), it will be tough to stay and it will be tough to go, so any options will be pretty hard,” Slipper said.

A candid and contrite Slipper opened up on the issues which led to his problems,

He battled to deal with his mother’s serious illness and found it difficult to talk about his own situation to anyone, before finally confiding in his family.

“I had the (achilles) injury last year and then I lost someone in the family, that was my first loss,”Slipper said

“Then my mum was diagnosed again so it was a bit of a whirlwind of a few things.

“It was just hard to deal with and by me stuffing up it was pretty hard, because I didn’t want to put that pressure on, especially with mum feeling like she was the reason.

“But the moment I did it was a relief, a ton of weight came of my shoulders.

“I’ve come a long way because of how I’ve opened up to people around me and especially the family.”

He has received support from inside and outside the rugby community, with former Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann among those to reach out.

Slipper, who missed most of the 2017 season with his achilles injury and played his last Test in December 2016, was heartened by the reception he got from other players this week after arriving in Sydney.

“I haven’t seen a lot of the players for a long times from other states and it was like I never left,” Slipper said.


Turkey officials sanctioned over US pastor

The United States has sanctioned Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu over the country’s imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.
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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the men had played leading roles in Brunson’s 2016 arrest and detention.

Mr Brunson, 50, was arrested in December 2016 following a failed coup on charges of “committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member” and espionage.

He was recently released to home detention.

He faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted on both counts at the end of his ongoing trial.

“Pastor Brunson’s unjust detention and continued prosecution by Turkish officials is simply unacceptable,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement formally announcing the financial restrictions.

“President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the United States expects Turkey to release him immediately.”

On Tuesday, a Turkish court rejected Brunson’s appeal to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges.

Turkey has accused him of helping the group that Ankara has said was behind a failed military coup two years ago.

Sanders said that President Donald Trump had spoken with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan about Brunson.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with his counterpart by telephone and they planned to meet on the sidelines of ASEAN meetings this week in Singapore, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Anticipation of the US sanctions had already helped to send the Turkish lira to an all-time low against the dollar on Wednesday.

In response, Turkey later on Wednesday called on the US to reverse its decision and threatened to retaliate “without delay”.

A Foreign Ministry statement said Turkey “strongly protests” against the US Treasury’s decision to impose sanctions against Turkey’s justice and interior ministers.

It said Turkey would “respond in kind without delay” against what it described as an aggressive stance by the United States.


Game’s history makes Meninga more elite

Mal Meninga was proud to be named an Immortal alongside rugby league greats from the pre-war era.The decision to elevate three players from the pre-World War II era to rugby league Immortality has only made his elevation to the elite group more illustrious, according to new inductee Mal Meninga.
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The NRL unveiled a record five new Immortals on Wednesday night, with Meninga and Norm Provan the two traditional inductees as well as Dally Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown.

The naming of some of the game’s founding figures came in the first time they were eligible to be named, after the NRL took control of the award from the now-defunct Rugby League Week Magazine.

And Meninga backed the decision, given the group of 13 men now represents the very best players of the game from its first year in 1908 to the 21st century.

“That was fantastic, that was like a surprise out of the box, the game got that right,” Meninga said.

“It was a really good decision. The selection committee had the forethought and were brave enough and courageous enough to do it tonight.

“It was a great time to do it. I was proud of the game when those names appeared.

“I was chuffed.”

Meninga is a known student of the game, having introduced a number of practices as Kangaroos coach to recognise the national team’s history.

His elevation came at the third time of being shortlisted, having previously been overlooked in both 2003 and 2012.

The three-time premiership winner labelled it one of the best things to have happened to him in life, no mean feat considering his record as a player and a coach at both Queensland and Kangaroos level.

“It’s a fantastic feeling, a very humbling experience. I fully understand there are so many players that could be standing in my spot right now,” Meninga said.

“It’s one of the best things that’s happened to me personally. As I mentioned I love the game and am very fortunate to stay involved in the game.”

Meninga also revealed the crucial role Wayne Bennett played in putting him on the path to Immortality.

One of the judges in selecting the latest inductees, Bennett had a distinct impact on Meninga as a teenager when he told him to pursue a career in the game.

“I wanted to be a policeman. I wanted to be a copper. I wanted to arrest people,” Meninga said.

“He said I had some sort of talent about footy and we grew up watching Vince Lombardi and what he used to do. How he prepared teams and how he set goals.

“I can remember vividly, he said to me I can do anything in life as long as I put my mind to it.

“I went back to my room … and set a goal. I want to play for Queensland, I want to play for Australia.”


NRL names five new Immortals

Former Canberra Raiders great and Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has been named a league Immortal.And then there were 13. The NRL has taken the unexpected step of naming five of the code’s greatest stars Immortals, 37 years after the first of the elite club were inducted.
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Heralded Queenslander Mal Meninga, mighty St George captain Norm Provan and pre-World War II giants Dally Messenger, Dave Brown and Frank Burge were all bestowed the honour in Sydney on Wednesday night.

The latter trio are the first to join the illustrious group despite none of the judges having seen them play.

Wally Lewis, Bob Fulton, Andrew Johns, Wayne Bennett, Phil Gould and Ray Warren selected Meninga and Provan before considering the three founding greats should also be recognised.

It had been generally accepted that only two players would be named on the night after it took almost four decades to nominate the first eight Immortals.

“It was an opportunity the game could not afford to miss and the Immortals now reflect the full history of rugby league – from 1908 to the present,” NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.

Messenger was the game’s original icon, Provan the winner of most premierships, Meninga State of Origin’s most successful product and Burge and Brown the respective record-holders for the most tries in a match and a season.

Ten players were nominated for Tuesday night’s inductions with try-scoring whiz Brian Bevan, Queensland Kangaroo forward Duncan Hall, North Sydney hero Ken Irvine, multiple premiership-winning backrower Ron Coote and modern Broncos great Darren Lockyer missing out.


Clive Churchill (1981), Bob Fulton (1981), Reg Gasnier (1981), Johnny Raper (1981), Graeme Langlands (1999), Wally Lewis (1999), Arthur Beetson (2003), Andrew Johns (2012), Dally Messenger (2018), Dave Brown (2018) Frank Burge (2018), Norm Provan (2018) and Mal Meninga (2018).


Maloney ready to lead Panthers to finals

James Maloney is excited about captaining a side to the NRL finals for the first time.Two premierships, a world cup, a State of Origin series win – there aren’t many boxes James Maloney hasn’t ticked in his distinguished career.
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But five weeks out from a seventh straight finals campaign, the Penrith veteran is being driven by a new challenge: leading an NRL team to the promised land.

Despite being at the club less than a year, Maloney is their captain after injury forced first-choice skipper Peter Wallace to retire mid-season.

And with the Panthers trying to shake off inconsistent form heading into the finals, it’s a role Maloney has embraced.

“It’s an exciting time for me,” he said.

“A leadership role, being captain of a club like this, it’s pretty special. And to take a group of young guys who are so talented and keen, it’s an exciting challenge.”

It’s why the 32-year-old dragged his body onto the field for last week’s historic comeback win over Manly despite carrying foot, hand and back issues stemming for State of Origin.

“I probably should’ve (rested) on the weekend but it would’ve been a last-minute sort of thing so it wasn’t ideal,” Maloney said.

“I had some conversations with (coach Anthony Griffin) about how we’re going now. Hopefully the worst of it is over and we can get on the mend and play some good footy come semis.”

Crucially for the Panthers, Maloney has plenty of experience.

Except for his rookie season where he played just four games for Melbourne (who won the grand final), the only time he’s missed the finals was in 2011 with the Warriors.

That’s why he’s refusing to panic about the Panthers’ inconsistency and is confident they can match it with the likes of Melbourne and the Roosters.

“They’re playing really good footy at the moment but the grand final is nine weeks away,” Maloney said.

“It’s not about the footy you play now, it’s about the footy you’re playing then.

“When the semis come, you need to be able to turn it, the energy and everything, up a notch.”


Scott full of praise for AFL milestone Roo

Marley Williams will play his 100th AFL game this weekend.Marley Williams wasn’t a high-profile trade target and certainly didn’t cost North Melbourne much but he’s become a vital cog in Brad Scott’s defensive unit.
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The former rookie Collingwood back man will play his 100th AFL game when the Kangaroos take on Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday.

It will be his 32nd match in two seasons for North since crossing from the Pies who received pick No.105 in return and Scott is delighted to have him.

“He’s got that thankless task of playing on the opposition’s best small forward every week,” Scott said.

“When you look across every team in the competition they’ve all got a pretty dangerous small forward.

“We’ve struggled to cover that (position) in the past, hence why we targeted Marley, and he’s just come in and done a fantastic job.

“He’s a no-fuss player, a really popular member of our group and he’s a pleasure to coach because you set him a task and he rises to the occasion every time.”

The Kangaroos enter the final straight in their dash for an unlikely finals berth when they take on the Lions.

Widely dismissed as a finals contender before the season, they are one game out of the eight in 10th heading into round 20 but don’t play a team headed for the finals in their remaining four matches.

Their finals push could be set for a huge boost with star veteran Jarrad Waite poised to return.

The 35-year-old was a late withdrawal with a calf injury in round 11 and has been painstakingly nursed back to full health.

“He’s probably been ready for a little while … (but) we said right from the outset that we would be very conservative with his rehabilitation,” Scott said.

“He’s trained well and we’ve just got to decide when we’re comfortable pulling the trigger.”

Fellow veteran Shaun Higgins suffered a setback when he underwent minor knee surgery on Tuesday.

But he completed a bike session at the club on Wednesday and should only miss Saturday’s clash.

Ben Jacobs is also not far off a return after finally shrugging off persistent concussion symptoms that have kept him to just one senior appearance since round 12.


Coles in fresh backflip over plastic bags

Photo: AAP Image/Paul MillerColes has done a double backflip on its free plastic bags and will recommence charging customers for them after coming under fire from green groups and consumers for giving them away for free.
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The supermarket giant on Wednesday decided to provide its thick, reusable plastic bags for free indefinitely, instead of charging 15 cents each as part of its program to get shoppers to switch from using single-use plastic bags.

But after weathering a barrage of criticism during the past 24 hours, managing director John Durkan has told staff customers will have to start paying for the bags after August 29.

In a message to the retailer’s 115,000 staff on Thursday, Mr Durkan said the ban on single-use plastic bags had been a “big and difficult” change for customers.

While customers had been growing more and more accustomed to bringing reusable bags, many were still finding themselves one or two short at the register.

“That’s why we are extending our complimentary bag offer until Wednesday 29 August for our customers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia,” he said.

“I appreciate this transition phase is taking longer than anticipated but it is absolutely the right thing to do by our customers.”

Environmental groups, including a vocal Greenpeace, and like-minded shoppers had heaped criticism on Coles for deciding to go back on its original plan to only temporarily provide reusable bags for free.

When Coles originally announced its ban on single-use plastic bags it said it would provide its reusable and thicker “Better Bags” for free until July 8 to help customers adjust.

It then extended the giveaway until August 1, but once that date rolled by walked away from the deadline and said the free bags would continue to be provided to shoppers.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Zoe Deans cautiously welcomed Coles’ latest change of heart and the new August 29 deadline for the giveaway bags.

“It sounds like initially they paid too much attention to the vocal minority and I think the sheer scale of the outrage yesterday and this morning has shown them what Australians actually think,” she told AAP.

“It’s confusing and frustrating for customers that they have been flip-flopping on this issue and we really want to see them make a solid commitment to actually doing what they said they would do and ban the bags for good.”

Ms Deans said given Coles had previously reneged on its deadlines to stop giving away plastic bags, some may be skeptical about them sticking to the new one.

“So it’s up to all of us to keep the pressure on and tell them we want to stick to their commitment to reduce plastic,” she said.

Mr Durkan said Coles was “absolutely committed” to reducing its impact on the environment by removing single-use plastic bags from stores.


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